Zebrafish Embryo Acute Toxicity Test

Zebrafish Embryo Acute Toxicity Test

Given the extensive use of chemicals in society for purposes ranging from agriculture to medicine, it is crucial to develop tools to accurately and efficiently assess their hazards and risks to human and ecological receptors. These tools could be used to screen chemicals rapidly during product development and to prioritize substances for further investigation. In spite of efforts to reduce animal testing by the use of in silico models and in vitro assays, whole animal testing remains a key component of chemical screening and prioritization.

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an attractive vertebrate model for assessing the toxicity of novel compounds, pollutants, and pharmaceuticals owing to its external fertilization, transparent embryos, rapid embryonic developmental cycle, and large clutch sizes. Acute fish toxicity tests are required for the testing of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biocides, and pesticides for environmental risk assessment. One of the first applications of zebrafish embryo in environmental sciences is to develop an alternative to the 96-h acute fish toxicity test. Compared to zebrafish adults, zebrafish embryos can be recommended as an alternative model system, as it is considered not to perceive pain or other discomforts. Acute toxicity in fish embryos has good correlations with acute toxicity in adults. Acute toxicity analysis of embryos can also include the screening for developmental disorders as an indicator of teratogenic effects. Together with other morphological, sub-lethal endpoints, such as changes in spontaneous movements, heart beat and hatching rate, these endpoints increase the potential to reveal information on the mode-of-action and may also show long-term effects of chemicals.

Naproxen induced a suite of morphological abnormalities during the zebrafish embryonic development.

Figure 1. Naproxen induced a suite of morphological abnormalities during the zebrafish embryonic development. (Li Q, et al. 2016)

Our Zebrafish Embryo Acute Toxicity Assessment

With years of experience and advanced technologies, Creative Biogene has developed zebrafish embryo acute toxicity test services. Our method can be used to identify concentrations of chemicals that lead to acute toxicity in fish in aquatic environments and can reduce tests that are carried out in juvenile or adult fish. In addition, various interactions between the test chemical and the embryos can be assessed by investigating the toxicological endpoints.

Toxicological Endpoints

  • Lethality
  • Heartbeat
  • Hatching rate
  • Coagulation of embryo
  • Development of blastula
  • Stage of epiboly movement
  • Extension of tail
  • Spontaneous movement
  • Development of eyes
  • Development of melanocytes
  • Circulation

Our Advantages

  • Wide ranges of detection technologies
  • Easy and flexible workflow
  • Advanced high-content screening equipment
  • Excellent predictability

Contact us to learn more about our zebrafish embryo acute toxicity test services.


  • Li Q, et al. Acute toxicity and histopathological effects of naproxen in zebrafish (Danio rerio) early life stages. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2016, 23(18): 18832-18841.
  • Glaberman S, et al. Evaluating the zebrafish embryo toxicity test for pesticide hazard screening. Environmental toxicology and chemistry, 2017, 36(5): 1221-1226.
  • Vaughan M, Van Egmond R. The use of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo for the acute toxicity testing of surfactants, as a possible alternative to the acute fish test. Alternatives to Laboratory Animals, 2010, 38(3): 231-238.
  • Scholz S, et al. The zebrafish embryo model in environmental risk assessment—applications beyond acute toxicity testing. Environmental science and pollution research, 2008, 15(5): 394-404.

For research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.

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